Monday, February 26, 2007


As a personal trainer, I often meet people who feel defeated. More often than not, they are fighting to lose body fat that has slowly crept up on them over the years. These are regular people, like you and me, who have done their best to provide for their families, to be there for their loved ones, and to get ahead in their careers. Most of these people find themselves feeling disappointed that they've let their health and fitness reach such low levels and come to me eager to make a change that will last. They've valued their careers, their families, their homes, their friendships; yet, they put their own physical well-being on the back burner. I tend to believe that it takes most of us a while to realize that we are not invincible. We seem to think that we can go through life, spending no time or energy on our health without any serious consequences. The difficult truth is that in order to feel and look good, each individual has to take action. Otherwise, going up and down the stairs will become a chore, maybe even a painful one. Those jeans we just bought may not fit next year. That lower back ache may turn into all out pain. The cute little beer-belly may turn into a heart attack waiting to happen. Self-neglect turns into a serious problem.

Too often I will meet a mother who has poured herself into her career and family so much that she finds later in life that her own health has suffered. Perhaps, her schedule was so full that there was not even an hour which she could devote to her own well-being. Or I will meet busy middle-aged gentleman battling obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint pain, and fatigue after years of pouring himself into a stressful career and family with not time to even think about exercising or healthy eating habits. I've even worked with teenagers whose busy school and extra curricular schedules left little time for much of anything other than eating on the go. It seems that we all are living in a culture that discourages us from taking care of ourselves. And I am here to tell you that you can put a stop to that in your own family.

Take a look at yourself in the mirror when you get out of the shower. Listen to your breathing when you go up the stairs at home or work. Evaluate the time that you actually spend doing something for your well-being each day. Do you like what you are seeing here? If not, perhaps you are a victim of self-neglect. If this is the case, maybe now is the time to make a change for you and your family, especially if you have children. You are worth the time that it takes to be the most fit you that you can be. You are worth the sacrifice it takes to feel good about yourself.

If after reading this, you are motivated to make a change, start with just one or two things at a time. Perhaps, this week you will make the decision to drink more water and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Give yourself that task first. Once you've done that for a little while, maybe you will make the decision to give up fast food or that nightly bowl of ice cream. Whatever changes you make, don't overwhelm yourself; otherwise, you may find yourself wanting to give up.

Go for it! Make the life changes necessary to be the healthiest you that you and your loved ones know that you can be.


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